Journal Article

A systematic look at the very high and low/hard state of GX 339−4: constraining the black hole spin with a new reflection model

R. C. Reis, A. C. Fabian, R. R. Ross, G. Miniutti, J. M. Miller and C. Reynolds

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 387, issue 4, pages 1489-1498
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13358.x
A systematic look at the very high and low/hard state of GX 339−4: constraining the black hole spin with a new reflection model

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We present a systematic study of GX 339−4 in both its very high and low hard states from simultaneous observations made with XMM–Newton and RXTE in 2002 and 2004. The X-ray spectra of both these extreme states exhibit strong reflection signatures, with a broad, skewed Fe Kα line clearly visible above the continuum. Using a newly developed, self-consistent reflection model which implicitly includes the blackbody radiation of the disc as well as the effect of Comptonization, blurred with a relativistic line function, we were able to infer the spin parameter of GX 339−4 to be 0.935 ± 0.01 (statistical) ±0.01 (systematic) at 90 per cent confidence. We find that both states are consistent with an ionized thin accretion disc extending to the innermost stable circular orbit around the rapidly spinning black hole.

Keywords: accretion, accretion disc; black hole physics; X-rays: individual: GX 339−4

Journal Article.  6694 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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